The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Postponements and delays didn’t dampen the spirit of the Saturday, April 8, groundbreaking services for the Port Vila Vanuatu Temple, with leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined by the president and prime minister of the South Pacific island nation and other local dignitaries.

Elder K. Brett Nattress, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church’s Pacific Area, presided at the event, signaling the start of construction for the temple in Port Vila, the capital city of the archipelago of 13 principal islands west of Fiji and some 70 smaller ones.

Attending and joining Elder Nattress and his wife, Sister Shawna Nattress, in a ceremonial turning of the first shovelfuls of dirt were Vanuato’s president, His Excellency Nikenike Vurobaravu; his wife, Rima Vurobaravu; Vanuatu’s prime minister, the Honorable Altoi Ismael Kalsakau; and his wife, Ellene Kalsakau, reported the Church’s Pacific Newsroom.

The groundbreaking for the temple, originally scheduled for March 4, was postponed following cyclones that hit the island nation the week of the scheduled event. The April 8 ceremony — announced on March 27 — came with its own late delays for flights for Elder Nattress and others coming into Vanuatu, pushing the morning services to late afternoon.

‘Upon the isles of the sea’

In his remarks, Elder Nattress read a verse from the Book of Mormon: “Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?” (2 Nephi 29:7)

Said Elder Nattress: “The Vanuatu temple is evidence of God’s promise. God remembers His children.”

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